Japan approves 112.57-trln-yen budget for fiscal 2024

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TOKYO, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Japan's parliament on Thursday approved the budget for the fiscal year of 2024 starting in April, totaling 112.57 trillion yen (744 billion U.S. dollars).

The revised amount marked a slight contraction of about 1.8 trillion yen compared to the previous fiscal year, ending the country's 11-year streak of record-high fiscal budgets, finance ministry data showed.

Japan's defense budget for the new fiscal year, meanwhile, saw an increase of 16.6 percent, reaching 7.92 trillion yen. The amount would escalate to 7.9496 trillion if expenses for restructuring the U.S. military presence in Japan are included.

Additionally, social security spending, which accounts for about one-third of Japan's fiscal expenditure, expanded 2.3 percent to a record-high of 37.72 trillion yen.

The Japanese government predicted tax revenue for the 2024 fiscal year to be around 69.6 trillion yen, and in order to bridge the deficit, it plans to issue new bonds worth 35.45 trillion yen.

Such a move would raise the dependency of Japan's fiscal expenditure on bonds to 31.5 percent for the new fiscal year, the data showed.

The enactment of the state budget was certain after the more powerful House of Representatives approved it in a rare Saturday session on March 2 as opposition parties had hardened their stance and ramped up criticism of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida over his party's political funds scandal, national news agency Kyodo reported on Thursday. (One U.S. dollar equals 151.24 Japanese yen) Enditem

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